Wednesday, February 28

Russia and Ukraine restart dialogue in Istanbul

The talks between russian delegation and the ukrainian have started in Istanbul, with a request from the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to “end the tragedy”.

The dialogue in Dolmabahce Palace It began shortly after 10:30 a.m. (0730 GMT), the official Turkish agency Anadolu reported. The negotiators were previously received by the Turkish president, who asked them to “put an end to the tragedy” of the Russian Ukrainian offensive, which began on February 24.

These negotiations seek to try to stop a war that has left nearly 20,000 dead and has forced 10 million people to leave their home.

The talks take place in the Dolmabahce Palace which was the last residence on the Bosphorus of the sultans and was also the last administrative seat of the Ottoman Empire, and where there are now offices of the Turkish presidency.

“Both parties have legitimate concerns, it is possible to reach a solution that is acceptable to the international community,” the Turkish head of state said at the start of the dialogue. Erdoğan indicated that it is up to both parties “to put an end to this tragedy” stating that “the prolongation of the conflict is not in anyone’s interest”. “The whole world is waiting for good news,” he urged the negotiators.

Abramovich, recovered

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich – who has tried to position himself as a negotiator between Moscow and Kiev – was also present, according to a photo released by the Turkish presidency.

After a meeting in the Ukrainian capital in March, the billionaire, who since last week has had two yachts moored off the Turkish coast, showed signs that it could have been poisoned. Another photo from the Russian agency Ria Novosti shows Abramovich with Erdogan and the Turkish foreign minister.

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Turkey hosted the March 10 in Antalya, in the south of the country, a meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine. However, that meeting did not lead to a ceasefire or any significant progress.

Turkey, which shares the Black Sea coast with the two belligerent countries, has taken steps since the beginning of the crisis to maintain fluid ties with the two parties and has made efforts to mediate in the conflict. Ankara is a traditional ally of kyiv and has given the country the Bayraktar droneswhich Ukraine has deployed in the conflict.

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On the other hand, it also seeks to have good relations with Russia, since it depends heavily on gas imports and income from tourism.

Turkey It was also involved, together with France and Greece, in negotiating a humanitarian evacuation of the thousands of civilians trapped in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, under a harsh siege by the Russians.

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